Commissioners to decide airstrip site

June 24, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Recreation and Parks Board voted last night to let the county commissioners decide where to build a permanent airstrip for model plane enthusiasts.

The board voted unanimously that two sites under consideration -- the top of the John Owings Landfill and the former Spiegel farm in Union Mills -- are "equally acceptable."

Residents near both sites have complained that noise would disturb them and wildlife in the area. Members of the Westminster AeroModelers Club have said either site would be suitable.

The board met last night at the Carroll County Education Center to hear public comments about the Spiegel farm site, near Kowomu Trail and Rinehart Road in an area where the county plans to build a reservoir.

AeroModelers Club members currently fly their planes at the landfill, and the county planned to move them to the top of the landfill when it is capped next summer.

In March, Commissioner Donald I. Dell suggested that the board consider the Spiegel farm as an alternative site because there are fewer homes nearby.

Board members visited the farm last Thursday.

Mary Margaret and Ronald Frederick of the 300 block of Kowomu Trail said they opposed the Spiegel farm site. Humans need peace, quiet and solitude, and while the reservoir area provides that now, Ms. Frederick said, an airstrip would be noisy.

"I like what you said, but it's a little bit like Utopia," board member Romeo Valianti responded.

Mr. Frederick suggested forming a recreation council to protect the reservoir area as an environmental area.

Barclay Brown of the 200 block of Black Hawk Trail said the county should keep the reservoir site as a quiet place. "I challenge you to look at the bigger picture," he said.

Board member Frank Ryan, a ranger at the Morgan Run Natural Environmental Area, said wildlife would be more adaptable to noise than people.

AeroModelers Club member Ray Miles said he and other club members are frustrated by the process.

"We did not request a move," he said. "We are fine where we are."

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